Special Events

The 2019 AAG Annual Meeting will be held Wednesday, April 3, to Sunday, April 7, 2019. Read on for more details about interesting plenaries and exciting events.

Opening Session and Presidential Plenary

Wednesday, April 3, 6:20 pm, Ballroom Salon 2, Marriott, Lobby Level

The AAG Opening Session will include welcoming remarks from Executive Director Doug Richardson.

The Presidential Plenary will address "The Intersection of Geography, Environmental Science, Human Health, and Human Rights" and feature distinguished panelists addressing how their research fields intersect with geography and the three AAG 2019 DC themes. Invited panelists include scholars in human and physical geography, environmental history, and biological sciences. In addition to AAG President Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, confirmed distinguished guest panelists include Dr. Mei-Po Kwan (U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Geography Professor), Dr. John McNeill (University Professor of History, Georgetown; American Historical Association President) and Dr. Heather Viles (Oxford University Geography Head and Professor). Also joining this special panel will be Dr. Rita Colwell (University of Maryland College Park Distinguished University Professor, Cell Biology and Public Health), who will receive the AAG's 2019 Honorary Geographer award and speak at this event.   

AAG 2019 Honorary Geographer Rita Colwell 
AAG 2019 Honorary Geographer Rita Colwell (credit: Sam Kittner)The American Association of Geographers has named Rita Colwell, the first woman to be director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), as its 2019 AAG Honorary Geographer. Rita Colwell currently is a distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, a senior advisor and chairman emeritus at Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc., and the president and CEO of CosmosID, Inc.

Colwell’s internationally recognized research primarily focuses on water and health with particular focus on cholera and infectious disease. A pioneer for women in science, she has published more than 750 articles and has authored or co-authored 17 books. During her time at the NSF she not only increased the size of individual grants awarded by expanding the budget of the NSF by 68 percent, but also advocated for greater support for women scientists and science and technology education. Dr. Colwell has taken on many significant advisory positions in the U.S. Government, nonprofit science policy organizations, and private foundations throughout her career, including her role as a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 
Read more.
(Photo of Rita Colwell by Sam Kittner)

Eric Holder to Deliver Keynote

Thursday, April 4, 12:00 pm, Ballroom Salon 2, Marriott, Lobby Level
Sponsored by Political Geography

Eric H. Holder, Jr., has dedicated his life to public service in many capacities, including on issues of civil rights and the judiciary. He served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States under President Barack Obama and was the first African American to hold that office. Presently, he serves as Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC). The NDRC is a coordinated initiative to combat unfairly gerrymandered districts drawn by state legislatures. Together with the support of former President Obama and a number of prominent national leaders, the NDRC rallies around a comprehensive redistricting strategy that seeks to make maps fair and make votes count. 

During this special keynote, he will talk about the current political landscape, including his recent work with former President Obama on redistricting and gerrymandering.

AAG Atlas Awardee Carla Hayden

Friday, April 5, 12:00 pm, Ballroom Salon 2, Marriott, Lobby Level
The American Association of Geographers invites attendees of the 2019 AAG Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., to join in celebration of Carla Hayden at the AAG Atlas Award Ceremony. Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress, will deliver a keynote address titled "Mapping the Library's Collection" at noon on Friday, April 5, after being presented with the 2019 AAG Atlas Award, the association’s highest honor.

Sworn in as the current Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016, Hayden is both the first woman and the first African American to serve in the position. She is also the first professional librarian to hold the office in more than 60 years. Hayden was recommended to serve as the librarian by former president Barack Obama in February 2016. Following an extensive social media campaign organized by the American Library Association (#Hayden4LOC) urging thousands of library advocates to contact their senators and appeal for the confirmation of Hayden as the new librarian, Hayden was appointed on July 13, 2016. Read more.

Past President's Address

Saturday, April 6, 11:50 am - 1:00 pm, Ballroom Salon 2, Marriott, Lobby Level
At the 2019 Annual Meeting, AAG Past President Derek Alderman will deliver his Past President’s Address entitled “Keeping it REAL in a Post-Truth World: Geography as Reparative Storytelling.” In his presentation, he will speak on enhancing the place of storytelling within geography as part of his initiative, Geography is REAL (Responsive, Engaged, Advocating, and Life-Improving). Asking attendees to view storytelling as more than entertainment, Alderman encourages storytelling to be considered for its value as a tool of education, disciplinary promotion, public outreach, community-building, and scholar-activism. Past President Alderman will also present the 2019 Presidential Achievement Award to Rickie Sanders (Temple University) and David Padgett (Tennessee State University) for their distinguished work in enhancing diversity and inclusion in the discipline of geography.

Doug Richardson, Bruce Wilson, Lorraine Dowler, Alec Murphy and Derek Alderman

AAG and The Conversation

Saturday, April 6, 1:10 pm, Ballroom Salon 2, Marriott, Lobby Level
AAG Executive Director Doug Richardson will introduce one of the organization's public outreach programs — a new collaboration with The Conversation, an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public. AAG is the first scholarly association to become a member and will contribute to the efforts of delivering timely scholarly research to the world. The session will include panelists Bruce Wilson, Lorraine Dowler, Alec Murphy and Derek Alderman.

AAG Department Leadership Symposium, “Promoting Diversity in Geography: Strategies to Improve Inclusion, Broaden Participation, and Assess Progress”

Thursday, April 4, 8:00 am - 11:35 am, Delaware A, Marriott, Lobby Level

Although listed in the program as two separate panels, the symposium is organized as a single morning-long event to allow ample time for sharing strategies, ideas, and concerns. The symposium is open to ALL meeting participants and no advance registration is required.  

Other leadership sessions of interest include:
Three panels organized by Dave Kaplan on the topic of “Increasing the Participation and Validation of Geographers at Underrepresented Institutions”, scheduled for April 4 from 1:10 – 6:40 pm in room Roosevelt 1 at the Marriott, Exhibition Level.
A panel organized by Josh Hagen on the topic of “Geographers as Administrators in Higher Education”, scheduled for April 4 from 3:05-4:45 PM in the Hoover room at the Marriott, Mezzanine Level.
The symposium is facilitated by Ken Foote (University of Connecticut), Shannon O’Lear (University of Kansas), Yongmei Lu (Texas State University), Sophonie Bazile (University of Kentucky), Patricia Solís (Arizona State University), and Sandy Wong (Florida State University).

Student Networking Social

Wednesday, April 3rd from 4:30 – 6:10 p.m., Ballroom Salon 1, Marriott, Lobby level

Students are an integral part of the AAG Annual Meeting, AAG membership, and our discipline. To help students meet and network, the AAG is organizing a Student Networking Social. Come meet fellow students (from undergrads to Ph.D. candidates) and build your network of geography colleagues. Have some fun while you make connections that carry through the Annual Meeting and beyond! Students are encouraged to wear their school colors or other university apparel – let’s see how many different schools will be represented in one room! The AAG will be inviting departments, federal agencies, and businesses to send a representative to talk about educational, employment, or professional development opportunities their organizations offer. AAG Council members will also be invited to attend so students can connect with the AAG’s leadership. Student attendees can enter a raffle to win AAG swag or one of 10 free student registrations for the 2020 AAG Annual Meeting in Denver! The social will take place immediately before and right next door to the Opening Plenary at 6:20 so students can easily attend it together to get their 2019 Annual Meeting off to a great start.  
See more activities and resources for students

The AAG International reception offers camaraderie and music, while hosting a massive number of meeting attendees.
International Reception

Thursday, April 4, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Ballroom Salon 1 and 2, Marriott, Lobby Level

Join us for the 2019 International Reception! This is the perfect opportunity to see old friends and meet new colleagues at the AAG Annual Meeting. All attendees are invited to attend. Two drink tickets for alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are provided in your registration packet.

World Geography Bowl

Thursday April 4, 7:00 pm, Maryland and Virginia Rooms, Marriott, Lobby Level 

The World Geography Bowl is a quiz bowl tournament held annually at the Annual Meeting of the AAG, featuring teams of graduate and undergraduate geography students representing each of the AAG’s regional divisions.  Contestants are selected by regional divisions via a competitive process, which in many divisions includes participation in a regional geography bowl held at the division’s annual meeting. If you are interested in participating, contact your regional division leadership for more information.
The winning team, runners-up, and high scoring individuals are awarded with prizes, provided by the generous donations of corporate benefactors.  In addition, each participant in the World Geography Bowl receives a travel stipend, co-sponsored by the AAG and that student’s regional division, greatly offsetting expenses for attendance at the national meeting.  Typically, approximately 50 students benefit each year from World Geography Bowl stipends.
The World Geography Bowl is fully staffed by volunteers, who write and edit questions and help run the proceedings as judges, scorekeepers and moderators.  Please contact Dr. Jamison Conley for volunteer opportunities.

Thank you to the 2019 World Geography Bowl sponsors and volunteers! Event Volunteers include Lee Ann Nolan, Dawn Drake, Paul McDaniel, Richard Deal, Melvin Johnson, Rob Edsall, Zia Salim, Megan Heckert, and Michael Mewborne. Question writers include Dawn Drake, Lee Ann Nolan & Jamison Conley, Richard Deal, Jeff Neff, Tom Bell, Peggy Gripshover, Zia Salim, Rob Edsall, and Jase Bernhardt.

Honoring and Celebrating Doug Richardson's contributions to Geography and the AAG

Friday, April 5, 5:00 pm - 6:40 pm, Diplomat Room, Omni, Lobby Level West

In honor of Executive Director Doug Richardson’s upcoming retirement, join Past President Dick Marston and many others to honor Doug’s contributions to the AAG and to the discipline during his long tenure in leading the organization.

AAG Awards Luncheon

Sunday, April 7, 11:45 am - 2:00 pm, Ballroom Salon 3, Marriott, Lobby Level

Join colleagues and friends for the AAG Awards Luncheon to celebrate and congratulate the recipients of the AAG Honors for their lifetime achievements and accomplishments in scholarship, service, publishing, and education. Several other awards also will be presented during the luncheon. They include: the AAG annual book awards, Miller Award, Nystrom Award, Jackson Prize, AAG Enhancing Diversity Award, Specialty Group Awards, and many other awards. Members who have held 50 years of continuous membership will be recognized for their enduring support and contributions to the Association.

Individual seats for the luncheon are only $65, including service and tax. Tables for parties of ten can also be purchased for $620. Tickets may be purchased here.